Girls’ hockey draws against Brookline in defense masterclass


Dea Pance

Girls’ hockey tied Brookline 1-1 Saturday, Feb. 5, away, in a highly defensive overtime thriller.

Rebecca Flemming, the assistant coach, said that the team’s strong defense shined throughout the entire game.

“We have some great upperclassman leadership on defense, as well as some freshmen giving us vital contributions,” said Flemming. “We try to be pretty aggressive with these strategies in order to help initiate more offensive opportunities for our team.”

Senior Camille Kouroriez, a captain along with senior Samantha Mealey, stood out in particular, whose consistent and efficient blocks as goalie contributed to the draw. 

In the first period, North struggled to gain possession of the puck. Within the first three minutes, Brookline controlled the center of the rink and began building up a strong offense. Brookline made several attempts to score, but all were stopped short by Kouroriez. However, nearing the end of the first period, Brookline hustled past North’s strategic defense and scored with under two minutes left. Brookline led 1-0 at the end of the period.

In the second period, North flipped the switch and aggressively attacked Brookline’s offensive line. The Tigers incorporated several creative strategies into their game plan, such as using the walls of the arena to pass the puck and prevent the opposing team from taking control. Brookline maintained their 1-0 lead as the second period ended.

“Our coaches do a great job drawing up different plays for us to follow, and then our goal is to execute them as best we can,” said Mealey. “By playing strong defense and continuing to pressure the opponents, we are able to turn the puck over and keep them from scoring.”

In the third period, the Tigers started off slow. As North continued to struggle offensively, Beals dean Scott Heslin, the head coach, called a timeout to help the team refocus. After regathering, the Tigers managed to score their first goal from a deflected shot late in the period, tying the score 1-1 and moving the game into overtime.

In overtime, both teams went back and forth. Though Brookline had multiple opportunities to shoot, they were stopped by a skilled Tiger backline. The possessions continued to switch between the teams until the final buzzer sounded.

According to Mealey, the overtime demonstrated the team’s ability to perform well under pressure. “The team really came together to work hard in those few minutes,” she said. “We played as well as we could to secure the tie, if not a win.”

Although the Tigers failed to obtain the victory, Mealey said that she is proud of the team’s tireless determination.

“Even though we didn’t come out on top, our score today showed that we will keep fighting until the very end,” said Mealey.

North, 4-9-2, will play Natick on Wednesday, Feb. 9, at home.